Who built the Nubian pyramids in Egypt?
Nubia and Ancient Egypt had periods of both peace and war. It is believed, based on rock art, that Nubian rulers and early Egyptian pharaohs used similar royal symbols. There was often peaceful cultural exchange and cooperation, and marriages between the two did occur.
Pyramids were built for religious purposes. The Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to believe in an afterlife. They believed that a second self called the ka lived within every human being. When the physical body expired, the ka enjoyed eternal life.
When the Egyptians were strong, especially during the New Kingdom, Nubia was a great wealth source for the Egyptians. The Egyptians established forts and colonies that exploited Nubia’s rich mineral resources, which they then traded on the international market with other Near Eastern kingdoms.
Known for rich deposits of gold, Nubia was also the gateway through which luxury products like incense, ivory, and ebony traveled from their source in sub-Saharan Africa to the civilizations of Egypt and the Mediterranean. Kings of Nubia ultimately conquered and ruled Egypt for about a century.
What kinds of similarities were there between the cultures of Nubia and Egypt? Both worshiped some of the same gods, has similar beliefs about kings, and depended on the Nile for food. Later Nubians built pyramids and mummified the bodies of their rulers.
In ancient times, Nubians practiced a mixture of traditional religion and Egyptian religion. Prior to the spread of Islam, many Nubians practiced Christianity. Beginning in the eighth century, Islam arrived in Nubia, though Christians and Muslims (primarily Arab merchants at this period) lived peacefully together.
The religions in both Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt were polytheistic, meaning they believed in multiple gods and goddesses, and were based on nature. These civilizations differed in their interpretation of the gods, however. Mesopotamians, because they had a rougher time with the flooding, tended to be pessimistic.
Egypt’s pharaohs expected to become gods in the afterlife. To prepare for the next world they erected temples to the gods and massive pyramid tombs for themselves—filled with all the things each ruler would need to guide and sustain himself in the next world.
Entering the Pyramids Tourists are allowed to enter all three of the great pyramids, for a fee, of course. That is, you can go into the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure as long as you pay for a ticket. That’s the good news.
*Kush was influenced greatly by Egypt: clothing, temples, calling their rulers pharaohs and burying them in pyramids. * *Kush had many elements of their culture that were unique such as their houses, and written language. * In addition to Egyptian gods they worshiped their own gods, such as Apedemek, a lion-headed god.
The term “Nubia” means many things to many people. In America it has come to be virtually synonymous with blackness and Africa. To ethnographers and linguists, it refers to a specific region straddling southern Egypt and northern Sudan, where black-skinned Nubians have traditionally lived.
The Nubian pyramids differ from Egyptian ones: They are smaller— 20 to 90 feet on a side, compared with the Great Pyramid’s 756 feet—with much steeper sides, and most were built two thousand years after those at Giza.
Nubia, ancient region in northeastern Africa, extending approximately from the Nile River valley (near the first cataract in Upper Egypt) eastward to the shores of the Red Sea, southward to about Khartoum (in what is now Sudan), and westward to the Libyan Desert.
To both the Egyptians and Nubians, the Nile River was the source of their lifeblood. It brought yearly floods that allowed their crops to grow, so both peoples were geographically orientated along a north-south axis.